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By Associated Press


A's Colon suspended for 50 games

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Baseball's number of Bay Area banishments continues to grow.

Oakland pitcher and former AL Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon (bahr-TOH'-loh kuh-LOHN') has been suspended for 50 games after testing positive for testosterone. Major League Baseball's announcement comes one week after All-Star outfielder Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants was suspended 50 games following a positive test for the same substance.

The 39-year-old Colon is 10-9 with a 3.43 ERA in 24 starts in his first season with the A's. He will miss the final 40 games of the regular season and the first 10 games of the postseason if Oakland advances that far. Any remainder of the suspension would be served in a future season, if Colon signs another major league contract.

Colon is the fifth player suspended this year under the big league drug program, and the third from either the Giants or A's. San Francisco's Guillermo Mota (gee-EHR'-moh MOH'-tah) received a 100-game suspension in May following his second PED violation.


Rays top Royals as Rodney earns another save

UNDATED (AP) — Bartolo Colon's suspension did nothing to stop the Athletics from downing Minnesota 5-1 this afternoon.

Coco Crisp went 3-for-3 with a homer, an RBI double, two runs scored and a stolen base to help the A's move 11 games over .500. Yoenis Cespedes (yoh-EH'-nihs SEHS'-peh-dehs) hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning to support Tommy Milone, who limited the Twins to a run and just two hits in eight innings.

Oakland currently is tied with Baltimore in the battle for the second American League wild-card berth, pending the outcome of the Orioles' game at Texas.

In other American League afternoon action, James Shields is 12-7 after allowing three runs over 7 2-3 innings of Tampa Bay's 5-3 triumph over Kansas City. Jeff Keppinger went 2-for-4 and singled home the go-ahead run in the third inning as the Rays won for the 16th time in 21 games, leaving them no worse than four games off the AL East lead by the end of the night.

Seattle beat Cleveland 3-1 on Eric Thames (tihmz) two-run double in the eighth. The Mariners have their first eight-game winning streak in five years.

Over to the National League, where Ryan Braun hit his NL-leading 34th home run of the season and drove in two runs as Milwaukee completed a three-game sweep of the Cubs 3-2. Yovani Gallardo (gy-AR'-doh) improved to 13-8 by allowing two runs on four hits and striking out nine in seven innings.

Tyler Skaggs allowed three hits through 6 2-3 innings in his major league debut, as Arizona beat Miami 3-2 in the first game of a doubleheader. The 21-year-old left-hander gave up a two-run homer in the second, then shut down the Marlins on one hit the rest of his outing.


Nova to be tested...Santana shelved...Strasburg to skip late-September starts

UNDATED — New York Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova has tightness in his right shoulder and will fly back to New York on Thursday for tests.

Nova said he felt something in his shoulder while making a sixth-inning pitch to Alexei Ramirez, in Tuesday night's loss to the White Sox. Nova threw 84 pitches in his six innings, giving up six runs and seven hits.

After a strong start this season, Nova is 11-7 with a 4.92 ERA but is just 1-4 with a 7.28 ERA in his last eight starts.

The New York Mets have placed lefty Johan (YOH'-hahn) Santana on the 15-day disabled list and say he won't pitch again the rest of the season because of inflammation in his lower back. Santana went 3-7 with an 8.27 ERA after throwing the first no-hitter in Mets history on June 1 against the Cardinals.

Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson says Stephen Strasburg could miss his final two or three turns in the rotation during the regular season. The Nationals are trying to keep Strasburg under 180 innings in his first full season following Tommy John surgery. The 24-year-old right-hander has thrown 145 1-3 innings while going 15-5 with a 2.85 ERA.

Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista is on track to return to the team Friday after missing more than five weeks because of a left wrist injury. Manager John Farrell says the slugger had six at-bats Wednesday morning in a simulated game. He'll be in the lineup with Double-A New Hampshire on Thursday before joining the Blue Jays at Baltimore a day later.

Colorado outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is in the lineup tonight against the New York Mets after being reinstated from the bereavement list. He missed the previous three games to go home to Venezuela following the death of his grandfather.

Texas right-hander Yu Darvish will miss his next start on Thursday because of tightness in his right quadriceps muscle. The Rangers say the move to skip Darvish's start is for precautionary reasons after he felt discomfort Tuesday during a bullpen session.

The Milwaukee Brewers have released veteran left-hander Randy Wolf, who lost his last four decisions and was 3-10 with a 5.69 ERA in 24 starts.


Kromer to start season as Saints' head coach

UNDATED (AP) — The New Orleans Saints have designated offensive line coach Aaron Kromer as the interim head coach for the first six regular-season games before assistant head coach Joe Vitt takes over the rest of the season.

Vitt is suspended for the first six games in connection with the NFL's bounty investigation. He has been overseeing head coaching duties since Sean Payton's full season suspension began in mid-April.

Elsewhere around pro football:

— Eagles coach Andy Reid says there's no question Michael Vick will be ready to play the season opener despite injuring his ribs again. Vick was being held out of today's practice after bruising his ribs and the soft tissue surrounding them during Philadelphia's win at New England on Monday.

— The Titans released veteran defensive tackle Shaun Smith a year after signing him to boost their defense. Smith started only six of 15 games last season with 44 tackles and one sack and had just one tackle in two preseason games. The Titans have picked four tackles in the past two drafts.

— Veteran guard Eric Steinbach has decided to retire after sitting out all of last season because of a back injury. The 32-year-old lineman signed a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins in July but missed considerable practice time during training camp because of health issues. Steinbach missed only three games in his first eight NFL seasons with Cincinnati and Cleveland.

— Maryland's highest court has ruled that longtime-NFL punter Tom Tupa is eligible for workers compensation for a career-ending injury he suffered while warming up for a preseason game in 2005 while playing for Washington. The court rejected the idea that football injuries should not be considered accidental because of the rough nature of the sport. The 46-year-old Tupa played 18 seasons in the NFL for seven teams.

— Defensive tackle Curley Culp and linebacker Dave Robinson have been chosen by the Pro Football Hall of Fame's seniors committee as finalists for election into the class of 2013. The two will join 15 modern-era candidates yet to be selected on a list from which the Hall of Fame class will be chosen.


NHL labor talks put off a day

TORONTO (AP) — NHL collective bargaining talks were canceled Wednesday after top executives from the league and players' union held an impromptu morning meeting to discuss the status of the negotiations.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly spent about two hours with players' association executive director Donald Fehr and his brother Steve Fehr, the union's No. 2 man.

Formal talks between the two sides were slated to resume Wednesday afternoon, but they have been postponed until Thursday morning.

The clock is ticking. The current agreement is set to expire Sept. 15, when the NHL says it will lock out the players if a new deal hasn't been reached.


Oilers and Hall agree

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Edmonton Oilers have locked up forward Taylor Hall with a seven-year contract extension.

Hall was the first overall pick in the 2010 draft and has since become a key fixture on the team's youthful top line. He had 27 goals and 26 assists in 61 games last season before he was shut down by a shoulder injury.

Hall had 22 goals and 20 assists in 65 games in an injury-shortened rookie campaign.


Najera shifting roles

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Eduardo Najera (NAH'-hur-ah), the first Mexican-born player drafted in the NBA, has retired to become the coach of the NBA Development League's Texas Legends.

Najera was picked by Houston in the second round in 2000 before playing 12 NBA seasons with Dallas, Golden State, Denver, New Jersey and Charlotte.

The Legends say Najera will be the first Mexican-born head coach under the NBA umbrella. The deal also includes Najera becoming a minority owner of the Legends and holding a front-office position with the Mavericks.


Seeding by the book

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. Tennis Association has announced the seedings for the women's draw at the upcoming U.S. Open and they strictly follow this week's WTA rankings.

World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka (ah-zah-REN'-kuh) is the top seed while Agnieszka Radwanska (ahg-nee-ESH'-kuh rahd-VAHN'-skuh) sits at No. 2. French Open titleholder and 2006 U.S. Open winner Maria Sharapova (shah-rah-POH'-vah) is seeded third and three-time winner Serena Williams is at No. 4 following her Wimbledon victory.

Venus Williams, who won the Open in 2000 and 2001, is ranked 47th and is unseeded.

The draw is Thursday and play begins Monday.


Spanier says he wishes he knew more about Sandusky

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ousted Penn State president Graham Spanier (SPAN'-year) says he wishes he'd known more about former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky so he could've done something about child molestation allegations against him.

Spanier told ABC on Wednesday it would've been his "instinct" to intervene had he known about the allegations against Sandusky.

Spanier's attorney today called the university-sanctioned report on the sex-abuse scandal a "blundering and indefensible indictment" of Spanier. The report says Spanier helped Penn State cover up complaints about Sandusky in 1998 and 2001.

Spanier has not been charged in the case.


Raisman turning medals into cash

BOSTON (AP) — Gold-medal gymnast Aly Raisman (AL'-ee RAYS'-mihn) has inked her first major endorsement deal since returning from the London Olympics.

The Needham, Mass., native has signed a one-year contract to endorse Maine-based Poland Spring water.

The 18-year-old Raisman won two gold medals and a bronze in London. She says the endorsement was an easy decision because Poland Spring has been an important part of her training regimen for years.


Players' appeal brings reduction in penalty

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The four South Korean badminton players who were ejected from the Olympics after purposely trying to lose their last group matches in London have had their bans reduced to six months.

Korean badminton association officials say the original penalty was too harsh.

The association's disciplinary committee had proposed banning the two women's doubles pairs from international and domestic play for two years.

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